DIY Homemade Natural Bronzer/ Contour Recipe From Your Pantry

By JULIE - 8:52:00 PM

My finished bronze powder
Growing up I loved playing with make-up.  I had a rather extensive selection and was made up nearly every day in a creative new way that coordinated with my outfit.  Years ago I stopped making myself up so much and settled on one or two looks I usually wore.  Then a few years ago I started learning about all the bad chemicals around us especially in our personal products (deodorant, lotion, shampoo, make-up, etc).  And I threw out nearly all my make-up and personal products and replaced them with natural products.  While I did this I found that I surprisingly only used a fraction of the products I had in our cabinets.
 So now my makeup routine is very light and I only have a few products that I use.  I usually only use a lip/ cheek stain (once I run out of my MAC stain I plan to try to use a beet food dye instead), mineral foundation (is all natural and works as a sun screen too), and tinted lip balm that I make. That's it, unless it's a special occasion, the I might actually wear some eye make-up too.  But lately I've been wanting to keep my natural look but step it up a notch with some contouring.  I haven't done that in over a decade, and I most admit some of my fav shots of myself are with highlighting and contouring.  For highlighting you need a shade of powder or liquid that is a couple shades lighter than your skin tone and a little shimmer doesn't hurt, and for contouring you want a matte powder or liquid that's a couple shades lighter than your skin tone.  I thought a light matte bronzer would be perfect.  So I figured I'd try to make some myself before I go and by any in the store.  I figured what have I got to lose?
model shown with contouring via Allure
Well I'm glad I tried it was easy, worked, and even smells great (kind of like pumpkin pie meets chocolate)!  You could easily make foundation this way by just adding more cornstarch too.  However I think I will stick to my mineral makeup, since it's all natural and a sunscreen too.  I also don't know how this would work as foundation in terms of staying on your face all day, or if it could break you out or not.  I figure this should be pretty safe to try first since I only use a little on a few places of my face.  If you have sensitive skin you might want to try a patch of skin first just in case.  
Corn starch, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cocoa Image via Free People

Here’s what you need:
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Ginger or turmeric (if you have yellow undertones olive skin would be an example)
  • Cornstarch, tapioca starch, arrowroot powder, or powdered sugar
  • a container to mix the ingredients in
  • a fine strainer or sieve (optional)
  • A clean sterile empty compact or small jar with a lid (I reused a jar that had face lotion in it that I saved).  
  • Essential oil and a mortar and pestle only if you're putting it into a compact 
  • my final bronzer

Homemade Bronzer/Contour Powder

  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tsp ginger (use only if you have yellow undertones to your skin)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (can sub tapioca starch, arrowroot powder, or powdered sugar)
  • 15 drops of your favourite essential oil (I like tea tree because it helps prevent acne by killing bacteria, just don't use citrus EO because it increases your sensitivity to the sun) optional if you're not putting into a compact
For best results sift before you mix!
Put all ingredients through a sieve or sifter before mixing all together, like the picture above.  If you don't use a sifter you might get clumps.  If you are putting your bronzer into a compact mix your choice of essential oil and ingredients into a mortar and pestle.
When you’re adjusting this recipe to your shade here are a few tips on color:
  • Cinnamon = glow
  • cocoa = depth and darkness
  • nutmeg = a sunkissed brown 
  • Cornstarch spreads it all out and lightens it. 
  • Essential oil keeps it together and thickens. 
  • If you are making this for contouring don't go to red tone think more grey for shadows
My finished powder, it's darker than it looks here!  My skin colour is light olive
This recipe is really more of a guide since everyone's skin is different.  Adjust the levels of ingredients to your liking and mix well in a small bowl. You want your bronzer to be only one to two shades darker than your skin tone. If it's summer and your arm is tan (like mine is now) you can use your arm as a guide.  Try to get the colour as close to your arm as possible.  Test on your arm until it dissapears.  If you are not tan don't worry just find a place with good natural light and compare it to your skin on your face or neck.   If your bronzer is to dark don't worry just add more corn starch.
my bronzer on my tan arm (I'm tanner than I look in this pic)!
If you are putting the powder into a compact, place the powder in your clean, empty compact and tamp down well with the back of a spoon, or into a small jar.  Apply as you would a contour powder.

My bronzer on the left, my foundation I usually use to the right (Maybelline Mineral Powder only found at Walmart now)
Don’t forget to “likeus on Facebook.  Let’s be friends on Pinterest and we can follow each other on Twitter and Google Plus.  And check out my other blog OhYou Crafty Gal.  

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